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5 Important issues for having a property survey

Prospective home buyers think it may be a waste of money to purchase a new property survey. It is important to contract for a new survey if there is none available. Don’t you want to know specifically what you are buying? Purchasing a home is the largest financial decision made by most people. Acreage and raw land may have ambiguous markers. Fences have been known to have been moved or removed. A new home may have a zero lot line that may not be evident to a consumer’s eye.

A property survey conveys crucial information at the time of contract and future changes you may wish to make to your land.

5 Important issues for having a property survey:

  • Location of utility easements – As simple as this may sound, prospective buyers have asked why these easements are necessary! In order to have electric, gas, water, cable, internet, etc., utility easements are necessary. Location of the utility easements let you know not to pour new concrete for a gazebo over your gas lines! This is also required access for utility companies.
  • Property parameters – Does the driveway overlap onto the next door neighbor’s property? Property lines verify the length/width of the easement between your home and the public access (street or road).  Property lines also differentiate your neighbors property, side to side and in back, from your property.
  • Fence lines – If your neighbor contracted to install a fence overlapping onto your backyard, a survey is integral to protecting your rights. A survey can also verify fence ownership.
  • Location of septic tank lids and wells – knowledge for inspection, maintenance and access.
  • Location of improvements – house, concrete for sidewalks, driveways, patios, outbuildings, and any other structures. Gravel drives and walkways, as well as fences are noted.

The survey date is important if changes have been made – additions as well as deletions to the property since the date of the last survey.  A form T-47, Residential, Real Property Affidavit  can be used to verify no changes have been made to the property when a sale is transacted.  A survey protects your rights. A professional Realtor® or real estate attorney can guide and direct you for protection of your best interests.


©APeto-Selby.com 2019, All Rights Reserved, May not be reprinted without explicit permission.

Blunt advice for every home seller

The following 20 action items may not be applicable to your specific home selling circumstances, therefore pick and choose the actions specific to your needs.

1. If your garden tub does not have a shower head – tear down the shower curtain surrounding it (You don’t need to have a prospective buyer psychologically analyze why it is there)

2. Get rid of the scatter rugs- immediately (If there’s a hole in the floor put hazard tape around it)

3. For the love of all religions –There should not be an egg yolk stained dish, spaghetti laced colander, or sticky, fingerprinted water glass in sight. (take the dirty dishes with you before the Realtor brings the prospective buyer into the house)

4. TAKE THE TRASH OUT – “Out” meaning, out of doors, put it in your car, take it to the office – anywhere but inside the house.

5. Take half of the books displayed and box them up for storage.

6. Fake plants/flowers have no place in the world – especially in your house during a showing.

7. Clear the walls. Take down the ducks, clucks, and bucks or anything not resembling an invisible icon. (NO family portraits- the portrait of a woman with the jeweled crown on her head still haunts me)

8. Bathroom vanities should only have some type of soap/container out and NOTHING ELSE.

9. Two – ONLY two (2) items should remain on the kitchen counters

Clear the kitchen counters
Clear the kitchen counters

–Seller’s choice.

10. Window sills are sacred ground. Not even a dust particle should be displayed on any window sill. (I almost had a bowling ball collection land on my foot when opening the blinds at one showing)

11. Put half of your furniture in storage. Tour a model home. There is an absence of dressers, occasional tables, foot stools, curio cabinets, file cabinets and bookcases.

12. Box up the electronics. Prospective buyers will have Chevy Chase flashbacks if they are overwhelmed with multiple surge protectors and a pasta spiral of cords exposed.

13. Door handles were never intended to be display hooks for foundation garments and jock straps.

14. Shoes should only be displayed on a human being’s feet. It is a tripping hazard to crawl over a mountain of shoes in the foyer, vestibule, doorways and on stairs.

15. Closets should have nothing on the floor – unless the set of golf clubs or a vacuum cleaner is the only item being stored.

16. Your children and pets can temporarily live with 2 or 3 toys until the house is sold. Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up with a doll made from a corn cob and she turned out OK.

17. Remove toilet seat covers. Get rid of toilet seat covers. No toilet seat covers.

18. Religious displays, teams/sports affinities, political statement pieces and nude art pieces should be packed for your move. A neutral environment will allow prospective buyers the ability to picture themselves living in the home.  “What about ‘em “Stillers”?”

19. Remove all “poop”. This includes from litter boxes, aquariums, diaper pails and genies, yard – dogs – detail, small animal habitations and bird cages. Buyers will walk through the backyard and back into your home.

20. Can’t believe it needs said – Put firearms, guns, rifles, swords, knives and weapons of any kind in a locked gun safe or secured off premises.

The house, condo, townhome you have listed for sale is no longer your home during the listing period. A neutral environment will expedite the sales process. It is a lot of work and disrupts the routine of the household. A temporary inconvenience will result in a favorable outcome.  Call an experienced and blunt Realtor® for professional guidance.


APeto-Selby.com© 2016 – All rights reserved. May not be reprinted without permission.

HomeBuyer house hunting homework

Has your prospective dream home been the scene of a horrific murder? The history of the home and previous occupants may be of concern or hold historical value to a potential buyer. Homebuyer house hunting homework may be the call of action to answer important inquiries.

A professional Realtor® should readily have an answer or the resource available to research an answer. Questions are encouraged. An informed consumer is in a better position to make a qualified decision for purchase.

Examples of prospective homebuyer questions could be and have been:

  • Has anyone died in this house?
  • Were there any crimes committed in this house?
  • Are there sex offenders living nearby?
  • Is there a pet leash law?
  • Does the subdivision allow 3 story high jungle gyms?
  • Can I run my business from this house?
  • How far is the nearest firehouse?
  • Can I breed pit bulls in the backyard?

Your Realtor® should know, according to his or her state laws governing whether they are able to discuss a death in the home. Texas Realtors® or home owners are not obligated to disclose this information – whether they are aware of it or not. As a prospective buyer, you have the right to research available police records, state, county and local jurisdiction public files and local newspapers and publications for information related to the home’s address.

Public records will also be the key to the history of home ownership. Most counties now have the line of ownership available on the Internet. If you are an observant researcher, it may be evident to determine if the home was inherited or transferred within a family, a foreclosure, a history of improvements, tax history, lien history and a record of the properties/improvements dimensions.

The US Department of Justice National Sex Registry has a website for researching if there are sex offenders living nearby or within the community. The Internet is also a resource for locating the nearest police and fire house. If the home is located in a town, borough, suburb or sub-division community, they may have their own website with local rules, laws, regulations and activities available. Sub-divisions may also have a copy of the by-laws and deed restrictions posted by the home owner association (HOA). Your real estate agent will also be able to obtain home owner association information for you, also.

Home owner association by-laws and deed restrictions are usually very specific and will let you know the requirements for home ownership within the subdivision. Local jurisdictions will also inform you of yoHomebuyer house hunting homeworkur ability to run a business from your residence or not. Ask specific questions. You may be able to conduct business but may not be able to post a sign advertising the business on the property. Local jurisdictions will also be able to inform you of laws and regulations in reference to pet ownership.

Again, your real estate agent or broker will have neighborhood knowledge and resources to assist with answers to your questions.


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Statistics for Texas home buyers

Statistics bring to our attention trends and moves within our personal focus and direction. Though we are all unique individuals, state and national currents of home buying and home selling activity relay the propensity of our overall habits.

Women are rocking it in Texas. Twice as many women (14%) purchased homes in Texas as men between July 2014 and June 2015, compared to 7% of men. The national comparison is 15 % of women home buyers compared to 9% of men home buyers for 2015. Before the Fair Housing Act of 1968, women had a difficult time obtaining a credit card to buy a dress let alone qualify for a mortgage to buy a home. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 further assisted women with obtaining credit.

Married Texas home buyers decreased 2% to 70% from the previous year. Six percent of unmarried couples bought homes in Texas between July 2014 and June 2015.

Homes purchased with room for parents or adult children (over 18 years of age) are 15% in Texas compared to 18% nationally.

The median size home sold during this time period is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2060 square foot house. The national average size home Headeris 1,900 square feet during the same time period. New home construction, 30%, accounted for Texas home sales. Texans like new and shiny. The national average is 16% which has recently remained constant.

Nationally, folks remain an average of 9 years in their homes. Texans average 8 years in their homes which decreased by one year between July 2014 and June 2015. The average age of a Texas home buyer is 45 years of age with first time home buyers median age of 31 years old.

Eight weeks was the average tenure for seeking the perfect property, with views of an average of 10 homes in Texas. 68% used the assistance of the internet and a Texas Realtor®. The primary purpose when choosing a Texas Realtor® in 2015 was to understand the buying process, assistance with pointing out flaws and features and 57% chose a Realtor® for counseling in selecting the best home for them.

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Handguns – TX landlords and tenants

Texas private property owners have the right to prohibit handguns, concealed or open carry, on their property. This includes rental property. Communication, verbal and written, is due notification to tenants.

The Texas Penal Code – Section 30.07(c)(3)(A) provides required language for prohibiting open carry, as well as The Texas Penal Code- Section 30.06(c)(3)(A) specific language for prohibiting concealed handguns on a private property. If the notification is included in the Texas property lease, special provisions section (26), Handguns TX landlords and tenantsclear and direct wording must state forbidding concealed weapons and open carry, separately.

Notice to every individual entering the private property can be signs conspicuously posted at each entrance. Again, the signs, one for open carry and one for concealed handguns, must use the language of the Texas Penal Code – Section 30.07(c)(3)(A) for open carry and The Texas Penal Code- Section 30.06(c)(3)(A) for concealed handguns – in Spanish and English, utilizing two contrasting colors with block lettering,  a minimum of one inch high. This is due notification to people other than the documented tenant.

Landlords can specifically ban concealed or open carry handguns on their property. The written notifications must specify either separately. Express and current notification to your tenants with any and all updates will provide clarity and confirm lease requirements.

This article is only applicable for the state of Texas. Check with legal counsel, a licensed Realtor® or your state association of Realtors®. The Texas Association of Realtors® provides further information for landlords and tenants.
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A. Peto-Selby, Realtor® – information blog

Andi Peto-Selby, Realtor
BD Realty Advisors, LLC, Broker

Welcome to A Peto-Selby.com

Launching a new real estate information blog is as exciting as it is challenging. This website will communicate industry trends, standards, tribulations, as well as the entire process for buying and selling a home. It will also offer experience and source based educational resources for real estate agents, industry sales representatives and Realtors®.

This blog will not offer legal advice or ever proclaim to be able to replace legal counsel. The foundation of all material is researched through expert resources.

We do learn from each other – clients, customers, real estate professionals. Your comments and inquiries will always be welcome. Reviews and guest author contributions will also be posted.

Your business and trust is earned. I return telephone calls promptly. If you are considering the sale of your home or seeking to purchase a home – Call me -. 713.870.0208 


Email:     APeto- Selby@bdrealty.com

Broker website:       BD Realty Advisors, LLC, Broker     BDRealty.com

Always looking forward!




Copyright 2015 A. Peto-Selby, Realtor® All Rights Reserved.